Illegal bloggers spreading fake news in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone

“There is incredible background radiation! .. So we have a gas mask.”

No, this is not a joke, but real dialogue from a video on YouTube. And it is vivid evidence of the level of awareness, concern for their own health and what an example bloggers want to be for their subscribers.

The bloggers say they climbed “right into the middle of a nuclear waste repository.”

Is it really a repository?
And we will answer at once that no, the building in the video is really close to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and, as we can see, has long been abandoned. It was not intended for radioactive waste storage, was not and is not part of the radioactive waste management infrastructure.

But with regards to the liquid radioactive waste that the authors of the video were so zealously looking for, let’s take a closer look:

“Who stole the barrels and where did the liquid radioactive waste go?”

Stealing barrels from where they have never been is extremely difficult. In fact, the liquid radioactive waste of the Chernobyl NPP is where it should be – in a specially equipped storage facility at the Chernobyl industrial site. Since the disposal of radioactive waste in the liquid state is prohibited in Ukraine, they must be transformed into a solid state (for example, by cementation). For this purpose, a plant for the processing of liquid radioactive waste (LRWP) is located at the ChNPP site.

ChNPP has also created and operates a complex for the production of metal barrels and reinforced concrete containers for storage of radioactive waste (KVMBiKRAV).

All liquid radioactive waste enters the liquid radioactive waste processing plant, where it undergoes the procedure of solidification by cementation. The hardened radioactive waste in the form of a cement compound is actually placed in 200-liter barrels, and they, in turn, are placed in 4 pieces in reinforced concrete containers with a volume of 3 m3. This process, ie operations to prepare radioactive waste for transportation, storage and disposal, is called radwaste conditioning. Containers with air-conditioned radwaste are sent for disposal to the Specially Equipped Surface Storage of Solid Radioactive Waste (SOPSTRV) of the Vector production complex.

However, the fact that bloggers did not enter the RW repository does not in any way negate the fact that unauthorized, uncontrolled stay in the exclusion zone without observance of security measures is a threat to health and life. In the end, we have an absurd situation: in the pursuit of likes and subscribers, a group of young people risk their health, violates the regime of visiting the exclusion zone, generates fake news and for the sake of the hype feeds the audience, who do not understand that it they are being brazenly fooled.

And remember: any risk must be justified. After all, the Chornobyl zone is not a place for walks, and post-Chernobyl emergency pollution can remain and be dangerous in some places.

Article translated and modified from a statement by State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety.

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